DIY Natural Cleaners

DIY Natural Cleaners

Homemade house cleaners are a great alternative to store cleaners. You control what ingredients there are in them, they are safer, and they do a great job.  Here’s a few of the common ingredients you will need to make your own and we have included a number of recipes we have found from general cleaners & surface sprays right through to ones suitable for heavier cleaning jobs.

Common ingredients in natural cleaners

Castile Soap

Castile soap is a concentrated vegetable-based soap made of ingredients you can actually pronounce. This soap is gentle on the skin and effective in the fight against dirt, grease, and unwanted germs. Available unscented or scented, castile soap can be used to clean just about anything and everything: your face, your laundry, and even your pets.


Vinegar is 5% acetic acid. This acid fights against bacteria and other yuckies you don’t want living in your home. Vinegar can’t be used on every surface (like marble and granite), but even with its limitations vinegar is an extremely versatile product to keep in your natural cleaning toolkit. Did you know we have bulk South Australian vinegar available in store? Well we do, and you can buy as little as much as you like from our bulk food section.


Water is a staple ingredient in all cleaning recipes. So, yes when you buy most store-bought cleaning products you are purchasing and carrying home water. Be aware though when making your own homemade cleaning products, clean tap water may be used for temporary storage (1-2 weeks), but for long term storage and to limit the possibility of bacteria growth you should use distilled water, or alternatively you can boil water yourself, but remember to let it cool first before adding it.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are very popular today, but the truth is, essential oils have been used by generations before us.

Essential oils are basically concentrated oils derived from plants. “An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compound from plants. Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam.”

Essential oils not only provide a pretty, natural fragrance to homemade cleaners, but also important disinfecting properties. A few of our favourite essential oils for cleaning include eucalyptus, lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

Essential Oil Properties

Eucalyptus us a powerful anti-microbial, making it ideal for preventing the spread of bacterial and viral infections. It’s a good essential oil to use in areas like toilets and showers. Laboratory studies have shown that eucalyptus oil contains substances that kill bacteria. It also may kill some viruses.

Grapefruit is an invigorating and energizing aroma. Use it to eliminate unpleasant odour-causing bacteria in the kitchen and bathroom.

Lemon works as a natural anti-microbial agent because of two compounds found in the oil, limonene and b-pinene. This makes lemon oil a powerful tool in cleansing your home of harmful pathogens, like bacteria and fungi. It also helps remove mental fatigue and exhaustion.

Orange also works as a natural anti-microbial agent it can also be used for a variety of applications that range from lifting mood and reducing stress to adding a fresh, citrusy aroma to a room.

Always be sure to use essential oils safely. If you’d like to use orange essential oil but have health-related questions or concerns, speak with your doctor before using the oil.



General purpose


·        2 Cups distilled water (or cooled boiled water)

·        30 Drops essential oil - blend oils to create a fragrance you like

·        1 ½ tablespoons liquid castile soap

Measure the water in a measuring jug. Add the castile soap. Slowly pour into spray bottle. Add the essential oils. Attach the sprayer and gently shake the bottle to mix.

Castile Soap Surface Cleaner

·        2 cups distilled water

·        15 drops eucalyptus, orange, lemon or grapefruit or combination to your liking.

  • 2 TB castile soap up to ¼ cup*

Pour the water into a 16oz. spray bottle (use a funnel, if needed). Add the castile soap and essential oil. Gently shake the cleaner. This cleaner may be stored at room temperature.

Vinegar Surface Cleaner

1 cup distilled water

1 cup white distilled vinegar

½ lemon juiced (optional)

15 drops eucalyptus, orange, lemon or grapefruit or combination to your liking.


Pour all the ingredients into a 500ml spray bottle (use a funnel, if needed). Gently shake the cleaner. If you use the lemon juice in this recipe this cleaner will need to be stored in a fridge between uses.

To use, gently shake the spray bottle before spraying on the desired surface. Spray the cleaner and wipe off the surface with a damp cloth (this is very important when using the castile soap cleaner, since it can leave a soapy residue if left to dry)! Do NOT use the vinegar cleaner on marble or granite. The castile soap (avoid the citrus variety) cleaner may be used on sealed marble or granite.


Simple Citrus Soft Scrub

·        1 cup baking soda

·        10 drops lemon essential oil

·        1/4 cup liquid castile soap

·        10 drops orange essential oil

·        10 drops lemon essential oil



Mix ingredients together to form a paste (add more castile soap if needed). Apply with rag or sponge, then rinse with clean water. Works well on grimy sinks and stovetop.

Bathroom Cleaner


2 cups distilled water

1 1/2 tablespoons liquid castile soap

1 tablespoon baking soda

30 drops eucalyptus oil & 20 drops lemon oil


Measure the water in a measuring jug. Add the baking soda and castile soap, giving a stir to mix. Pour into the spray bottle. Add the essential oils. Attach the sprayer and gently shake the bottle to mix

Use this spray to clean the bathtub, tiles, toilet, sink, and even the floor. Spray the surface, allow the cleaner to sit for a minute, then wipe with a damp cloth. Rinse cloth as needed.



Soft Scrub for Tougher cleaning


·        1/3 cups baking soda (generously loaded)

·        1 1/2 tablespoons liquid castile soap

·        1/2 tablespoon water

·        1/2 tablespoon vinegar

·        10 drops of lemon oil

·        10 drops of grapefruit oil


Combine baking soda and castile soap in a bowl. Add water and stir. Add vinegar and essential oils. The consistency should be a soft paste. Store in airtight glass gar.                                                                                                                                          Great for removing stains, getting rid of soap scum, and brightening your tiles and toilet. To use, just apply and let sit for 5-10 minutes and then scrub. Once done scrubbing, take a wet cloth and wipe clean.

Essential Oil Safety Guidelines

When it comes to using essential oils, there are a few safety guidelines you’ll want to abide by. Here are some of the best practices for safe essential oil usage: 

  • Always read the labels. Pay attention to any specific warnings on your essential oil packaging and adhere to any recommendations provided by the manufacturer.  
  • Avoid certain areas. Avoid putting oils into your nose, inner ears, eyes, broken skin, or other sensitive areas. 
  • Dilute oils. To minimize skin sensitivity, dilute essential oils using a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil. The suggested dilution ratio is one drop of essential oil to five drops of carrier oil. Always dilute an oil when using it for the first time, applying it to sensitive skin, or when using essential oils with children. When using oils with a particularly strong chemistry, you will want to dilute one drop of essential oil to ten drops of carrier oil. 
  • Know your strong oils. Some essential oils should always be diluted with fractionated coconut oil before putting them on your skin. Some of these oils include CassiaCinnamon BarkCloveOregano, and Thyme. Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list, so always pay attention to labels with warnings about strong oils. 
  • Be careful of sun sensitivity. Some essential oils can pose a risk for sun sensitivity, particularly citrus oils. Some of these oils include Bergamot, Green Mandarin, GrapefruitLemonLimeTangerineWild Orange, and any essential oil blends that contain these oils. Again, this is not an exhaustive list. Before applying an essential oil topically, check the label for any sun sensitivity warnings. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for at least 12 hours following the use of these oils on the skin (this includes tanning beds).
  • Practice safe storage. Make sure to store essential oils out of reach of children. This measure will help prevent accidental ingestion. You’ll also want to keep your oils away from excessive light or heat, as this can alter the chemical properties of an essential oil significantly. 
  • Supervise young children. Always supervise essential oil application with your children. Because children have more delicate skin, it’s a good idea to dilute oils before applying them topically. Try applying the oil to the bottom of a child’s feet before you try other areas. In addition to safe storage practices, you can also use Child Resistant Caps to ensure that your children don’t accidentally ingest oils on their own.
  • Talk to a healthcare professional. If you have specific health concerns, consult with your doctor before using essential oils.

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